Salad Days

Sure feels like Summer, even though the Solstice is a week away.   The tree frogs have replaced the peepers in their nightly chorus, a true indication of warmer days ahead.  Nothing suits warm weather like a salad, and let’s throw in some ‘toads’ instead of frogs for breakfast.  Don’t get anxious, its our old favorite, Toad In The Hole.

Toad in the Hole     293 calories   This whimsically-named meal is of old English origin – shades of Kenneth Graham and Beatrix Potter. The recipe is from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.Toad in the Hole w: berries & Gr Smoothie

It begins with a Yorkshire Pudding batter which you need to prepare in advance. The Yorkshire Pudd recipe is from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. HINT: make the batter the night before to save time in the morning.

Y. Pudd batter:         one 2-oz egg                     1 cup flour, preferably unbleached                                  ½ tsp salt                    ½ cup water                ½ cup fat-free milk

Mix all the ingredients together and let the batter stand at room temp for 30-60 minutes or in ‘fridge overnight. You will need 1/3 cup of the batter per person. HINT: The remainder can be frozen in 1 cup or 1/3 cup batches for future meals. When it is time to use the batter, beat it with a rotary beater until it is frothy.

To prepare the breakfast:                                                                                                                                      1 breakfast sausage [I like the Al Fresco brand chicken with sage @ 50 cal/link]                             1/3 cup Yorkshire Pudding batter, well beaten                                                                                               4 oz mixed berries OR ½ of a pear or apple                                                                                                                                                  5-6 oz fruit smoothie or green smoothie or natural apple cider                                                           nearly-black coffee or tea; or lemon in hot water.

Heat the oven/toaster oven to 425. Cook the sausage, preferrably in a small oven-proof pan. If you have a small [5″] cast iron fry-pan, that would be a good choice, using a tiny bit of oil in the bottom of the pan since the sausage will render no fat. Dice the sausage. Beat the batter until it is foamy. Pour the batter into the pan then sprinkle the sausage bits over the batter. Pop the pan into the oven for 15 minutes. Plate the fruit, shake your smoothie [if saved from last meal], brew your beverage, and settle down to a quick meal.

Salade Niçoise:     283 calories        16 g fat        3 g fiber          22.5 g protein         12.7 g carbs   198.3 mg Calcium          PB GF         HINT: If you plan ahead a bit, this meal goes together in minutes. A few days before, eat a meal of baked or grilled salmon and green beans. Prepare 3 oz more salmon than you’ll need for that meal and save it for this meal. Cooked salmon freezes well, just leave enough time to thaw it thoroughly. Also cook an extra bit of green beans and save them in the ‘fridge.Salade Nicoise

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar                                                                                                                                      3/4 tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                                1 and 1/4 cup spring mix lettuce OR 3 leaves of romain, medium-sized                                                     3 oz cooked, cooled salmon                                                                                                                                3 oz green beans, cooked and cooled                                                                                                                                                     2 black olives, pitted and halved                                                                                                                      ½ hard-boiled egg                                                                                                                                                   5 cherry tomatoes

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a wide shallow bowl. Add the beans and turn them to coat with dressing. Remove to another plate. Coarsely chop the romaine, if using. Toss lettuce  with dressing. Place the salmon in the center of the salad. Surround it with the remaining ingredients. A wonderful meal in no time flat.

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